Leadership initiative Artistic Directors of the Future has appointed the first eight participants of its board-shadowing scheme in London.
They will take seats in the boardrooms of three companies – Complicité, English Touring Theatre and Punchdrunk. Each will sit in on board meetings at all three organisations as part of a bid to “demystify” theatre governance.
The scheme, which launched last year in Yorkshire and is now running in the capital for the first time, appoints individuals from culturally diverse backgrounds to its board-shadowing programme to help nurture a wider pool of theatre trustees. They will be attached to the theatres for six months until February 2020.
The London participants include actors, directors, production coordinators and drama teachers. They are Ebe Bamgboye, Eileen Bellot, Youness Bouzinab, Zak Khan, Francesca Murray-Fuentes, Natasha Patel, Tian Brown-Sampson and Clea Williams.
Brown-Sampson, a director, producer and movement director, said: “I believe a priority we should be setting is seeing more people belonging to diverse and under-represented backgrounds in greater positions of leadership within organisations and at board level, so we can see a more significant change and progression within our industry with the stories we tell, the initiatives we start and the communities that we impact.”
In addition to participating in board meetings, they will be given opportunities to visit each organisation for press nights, open rehearsals and tours.
In a joint statement, ETT artistic director Richard Twyman and executive producer Lizzie Vogler said the group “are all asking important and challenging questions about where British theatre currently is and we have no doubt they will go on to shape its future”.
“We’re really excited to start working with them and look forward to the positive influence they will have on shaping the culture of ETT and the wider industry,” they added.